HYPE Studios Cultural Arts Center

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From the Studio Archives

 HYPE Studios closed in October 2011. HYPE sold its
studio facilities to the new Boogiezone Utopia
.

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A Brief History of HYPE Studios and Boogiezone Utopia

  • Nov 2011: The former HYPE Studios facility became Boogiezone Utopia, Boogiezone's first physical dance studio in the United States. Elm Pizarro, founder of Boogiezone ("Your Online Dance Community Connection"), is owner and director of the studio. (Note: The two organizations had a positive connection, as HYPE Studios had hosted a Thursday night Boogiezone Community Class for years.)
  • Nov 2010: Moving on in her career, Tricia Gomez sold HYPE Studios to Quami and Katisha Adams, who were both longtime dance teachers at the studio. KPA Fusion Dance Repertoire (of which Quami and Katisha Adams sit on the Board of Trustees) became HYPE Studios' parent company.
  • Approx. 2007: Tricia Gomez moved HYPE Studios from Hermosa Beach to the Carson St studio location in Torrance.
  • 2003: HYPE Studios was founded in Hermosa Beach by its original owner, Tricia Gomez, a dancer and former L.A. Laker Girl.

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About HYPE Studios

From hip hop to hula, HYPE Studios Cultural Arts Center in Torrance, CA, aims to offer any style of dance you might want to take! A recreational, beginner-friendly studio for all ages, HYPE encourages experimenting with new dance styles from its large and diverse schedule. Whether you've been dancing for 10 years or just started, this is a great place to reach outside your comfort zone and try something new.

When she founded HYPE, Tricia Gomez says, "I wanted it to be . . . accessible to everybody. Even if you didn't know what a style of dance was, you could still walk into that class and not feel intimidated, and learn something."

HYPE encourages experimenting with new dance
styles from its large and diverse schedule.

But HYPE's offerings go well beyond the introductory level. The studio consistently schedules a variety of both beginning and intermediate or intermediate/advanced classes in styles such as ballet, contemporary, and tap, as well as hip hop.

HYPE has featured a number of fun and unusual hip-hop classes over the years, including 90s Hip Hop and the long-running Jackson Power Hour, an open-level class dedicated to the choreography of Michael and Janet Jackson that ended at the end of 2010.

HYPE also hosts a weekly Boogiezone community class, which presents advanced hip-hop choreography taught by a different visiting instructor each week. Well-known dance crews from across the country sometimes fly in to teach. Because it's a high-level class, the Boogiezone community class attracts many skilled dancers, including industry professionals. However, students of all abilities are welcome to come and learn what they can.

HYPE encourages dancers to take advantage of its extensive selection of dance and fitness classes—some of which are hard to find elsewhere—by cross-training. For example, martial arts goes well with breakdancing, Tricia says, but breakdancing and aerial arts also make a great pair. The strength aerial arts builds helps in breakdancing, and breakdancing tricks help with flips and other moves in aerial arts.

"Things that you wouldn't think would help each other with cross-training, do," says Tricia. "So it's cool to have that all in one place."

If you're looking to break through a block in your preferred style of dance, the staff at HYPE may be able to suggest a complementary discipline.

And if you're just looking to break free from an overly serious dance mindset, HYPE can help with that, too. Every HYPE dance recital ends with the audience invited onstage to join the performers in the chicken dance. The finale was such a hit at the first recital held after HYPE moved into its Torrance studio, they've done it ever since!

Located on Carson St in east Torrance, HYPE is a couple of miles west of the 110 freeway and less than a mile east of Crenshaw Bl. The studio's new bright red awnings provide a splash of color in the middle of a long, beige commercial building with dark green trim.

Inside, the studio's layout is open and spacious. Dance studios of various sizes are located on two floors, and each has a descriptive name. The Ballroom upstairs accommodates very large classes. Other studios vary in size, design, and color scheme, ranging from dimly lit and intimate to open and full of light.

And HYPE offers separate locker room-style facilities for men and women, complete with restroom stalls, sinks and mirrors, a shower stall, a full-length mirror, and plenty of space to change clothes. The women's facility even has lockers available for use during class (bring your own lock).

It's Not a Competition

Tricia designed HYPE to be a welcoming place for people who thrive best in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere.

When she first started teaching hip hop in the South Bay, Tricia taught everyday people through Parks and Recreation. Most were beginners. Some walked into her class and asked her what hip hop was, even though they'd signed up for it.

"I had a really soft spot in my heart for people who were brand new to it," Tricia says.

Most people who come to HYPE are beginning dancers or people who used to dance and who want to come back to dance, but not to train at a studio that caters to professionals and aspiring professionals.

"When you take classes in those industry studios, you feel like you're at an audition. It's very intense," Tricia says.

Tricia envisioned HYPE Studios as a place for people to learn, but also to be able to relax, forget about life for an hour, and just dance!

The Students Hire the Teachers

Tricia feels the best kind of dance instructor for HYPE is someone confident, energetic, and fun. An outgoing person who can connect with anyone.

"My favorite teachers whenever I take class are teachers that are having fun themselves," says Tricia. "If they're having fun, then I'm going to have fun."

But when it came to hiring, it was her practice to give students the final say. She would invite candidates in to substitute teach a class, and then ask the students how they liked it.

"If the students give me a thumbs-up, they're hired," was Tricia's policy.

Even for a class of three-year-olds, Tricia would only hire an instructor who received positive feedback from the students. I won't be in that class, her thinking was—they will!

Cultural Arts

HYPE strives to offer genuine intercultural learning.

The hula, African dance, belly dance and Mexican folklorico teachers in particular are immersed in the cultures their dances originate from and teach the culture along with the dance.

Hula students learn the Hawaiian words for the steps they're doing, how to say them and what they mean. When you're dancing and you know the history behind that dance step, Tricia says, it's more meaningful to you.

About This Studio Profile

Hip-Hop Dance Guide Los Angeles specializes in information on adult hip-hop classes and dance studios in L.A. In addition to detailed featured studio profiles, we also offer briefer studio profiles. This allows us to add more studios, more quickly.

This profile last reviewed: January 2, 2014.
This profile last updated: January 2, 2014.